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Papua New Guinea Prime Minister James Marape on Friday gave a report of his government’s performance over the last 12 months in office claiming his government lifted the GDP growth rate from a recession minus 0.8% in 2018 to 5% in 2019.
In his address to the nation, Marape claimed his government was using good budgeting approach to lift the country’s economic recession but was marred by the Covid-19 pandemic that held back the government’s efforts.
“Using good budgeting approach, the Marape-Steven government lifted the GOP growth rate from a recession minus 0.8% in 2018 to 5% in 2019; Covid-19 has held us back but our economy will prevail as it is robust,” Marape said.
“The focus is also on non-resource growth rates which is endorsed by the IMF which will deliver domestic growth from 2.9% in 2020 to 4.6% by 2024.
“We have also ensured that the share of the national budget going to capital/development budget increased from K4, 715 million (US$1.367 million) in 2019 to K6, 281 million (US$1,821 million in 2020.
“This major structural change in the budget will continue,” he said.
“The economic sector has sought in the first 12 months to repair the budget process, drive agriculture growth, generate job creation, provide a bedrock for MSMEs to grow, drive reforms in state-owned enterprises to increase contribution to GDP growth and private sector expansion, and grow exports.
“The Marape-Steven government is refocusing economic priorities to jobs for our people, not just a resource focus.
“The focus is on inclusive jobs for growth, move to honest budgeting, move to investment and away from the operating budget (public service salaries and goods and services), move to good and cheap international financing, and balanced out urban biased development of the past.
“SoE reform to reduce the cost of doing business in PNG (i.e. reliable power, cheap data) inline with Marape-Steven government’s ‘Growing and Diversifying the Economy’ policy focus.
“Establishment of a pipeline of projects identified and solicited by the Marape-Steven Government and that align to the ‘Connect PNG Policy’ including economic corridors and Special Economic Zones.
“Commenced the review of large-scale capital projects to ensure appropriate process was followed in their implementation and business case forecast is in line with Marape -Steven Government stance on getting ‘Value for Money’ Pynang, Pasca, Wafi Golpu and Pogera to name for projects being advanced.
“Transparent skills and merit-based appointment of new SoE managing directors.”
Marape said for the last 365 days, the government was into the business of building a strong foundation for the country.
Marape said many have accused and continued to grandstand that his government had not delivered much.
“If you relate to infrastructures as deliverables, then you are possibly correct because we haven’t delivered any infrastructures yet while being in office,” he said.
“But let me point out that to deliver better and quality infrastructures for now and into the future, the foundations of the country needs to be properly built first.
“That’s what we have been doing while in the office for one year.”
He reiterated that to have a strong building that stands the test of time, the winds, shakes, and the storms, solid foundations and structures must be laid. “So in the last 364 days, amidst politics, Covid-19, economic downturns and social tensions, our government has continued to dig the foundations for what should emerge in the future as a country that has an equal opportunities.” Marape said his government will continue to build foundations and structures into the future until a better PNG is built.
He also added that to develop a country, it’s not always about building infrastructures but about reforming and reshaping government’s structures and systems.
SOURCE: POST COURIER/PACNEWS
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